Caribbean Stud is a game of poker. It is a variation of five card stud with some extra little bells and whistles in it designed to give casino goers the allure of hitting it big. You typically can’t find Caribbean Stud any place other than casinos. I have even struggled to find it on those online “learning” sites although I’m sure they are out there. Nevertheless it is a fun game if you know what you’re doing.
The rules of Caribbean stud are pretty similar to the rules of regular stud. If you aren’t familiar with them well you’re in luck because that’s what this article is all about.
First off when you decide that you’re ready to play Caribbean stud make sure to take a look at the tables minimum bet. You don’t want to sit down expecting to play a max bet of four dollars per hand only to find that the bet is a ten dollar minimum where you will max out at thirty-one dollars a hand. That’s a pretty big difference. Once you’ve established that you are comfortable with the table amounts you can have a seat.
Now this is when you will place your initial bet which is called your ante. Your ante can be anywhere from the table min, which is commonly one dollar, up to the table maximum which could be around one thousand dollars. Once you place your ante then you will wait for any other players to come into the hand. This is also the time that you will place your one dollar bet in the bonus slot if you choose to play for the progressive pot. Which is pretty much the whole reason for playing this game. You have to give yourself the opportunity to win the jackpot.
Once all antes and bonus bets are made the dealer will then commence to dealing five cards to each player including him or herself. The cards will all be dealt face down except for one of the dealer’s cards which will be face up for all the players to see. Once all the cards are dealt out the dealer will then wave their hand across table, signaling that it is now ok take a look at your cards. Make sure you keep your hand private. It is against the rules to share your hand with the table. If you are caught doing so you could be asked to leave the table or even the casino for collusion.
Now is the time where your knowledge of poker comes into play. If you have a good hand or at the least one that you think is better than the dealer’s hand you will want to raise. A raise must be two times the ante. So for example if you place five dollars on your ante, to raise you must place ten dollars on the raise spot.
Once all players have acted (made their decision to raise or fold) the dealer will flip over their remaining four cards to show their entire hand to the table. The dealer must have Ace King or better to qualify and the only way you “win” is if the dealer has a qualifying hand.
Each player, starting from right to left, will begin turning over their cards. The dealer will analyze each hand comparing them to his or her own to see which one is a winner. If the dealer is showing a pair of tens then you must have a pair of jacks or better to beat their hand. Also, remember that you are only playing against the dealer’s hand. The other player’s hands have no bearing on whether you win or lose. If your hand is not better than the dealer’s hand then you lose both your raise and your ante.
Losing to the dealer does not necessarily mean that you’ve lost the side bet. Which is the one dollar bonus bet that you made at the beginning of the hand. As long as you have three of a kind or better you will be paid on your bonus bet. This does vary from place to place so be sure to check the pay table. Some casinos will pay a progressive bet on a three of a kind and some will only pay on a flush or better. Either way it does not matter if you beat the dealer to win this payout.
Folding is always an option as well. You can choose to fold your hand after the ante has been placed and you have received your cards. A good rule of thumb, when it comes to folding, is if you do not have a hand that can beat the dealers qualifying hand of Ace King then you should probably fold. This is still a stud game which means you will not get any more cards to make your hand any better. The five cards you start with is the same five cards you will finish with.
Almost every casino that I have gone to, that has the table games such as Caribbean stud have the payout structure listed on the table. This is a good thing to look at to make sure that you are being paid out correctly. I’m not saying that they will try to cheat you or anything like that, however, the dealers are human and sometimes mistakes are made. It’s just a good idea to be informed.
You can also tie the dealer which will result in what is called a push. That means that you will neither win nor lose. You will just get your money back. Although, you will lose your bonus bet if you do not have a hand that qualifies in the progressive pay out.
So there you have it the ins and outs of Caribbean Stud Poker. There’s a lot more to learn about different betting strategies however unfortunately we don’t have time to cover them in this article. Although, in my opinion the best strategy is to come with a good amount of money so you can maximize your time at the table. Oh and it also helps to be lucky as hell!
This is enough to get you started though. So the next time you’re at the casino get your favorite tourist shirt out ( you know the one with the palm trees all over it) and find yourself a Caribbean Stud table and wait for the big bucks to roll in. Who knows you might just hit the jackpot. Somebody’s got to win it might as well be you.
Good luck and good gaming!